personal responsibility

This category contains 260 posts

Carrying A ‘Modified’ Gun

custom-gunfrom TFB

The Legal Brief has continued to build upon its successful launch into a fantastic no-nonsense resource for the gun community. Attorney Adam Kraut, an associate at the Firearms Industry Consulting Group and Prince Law Offices, P.C. takes the years required to earn his J.D. and boils critical legal topics relevant to the gun world into practical snippets.

Unfortunately, I am late to publishing one of his latest Briefs, a review of the legal basis of modifying one’s firearm. Mr. Kraut, Esq. breaks down the due process that one will go through post defensive encounter and basically so long as one used their weapon in legal self-defense, one is free to modify their weapon as they see fit.

That said, if one is charged there is the potential that one’s modifications could be used to show the intent of the shooter, but its nearly unheard of (Adam states he’s never heard of one, which as a firearms attorney is a significant statement).

The key is, as always, the totality of the circumstances is the key. A modified firearm, assuming the modification does not cause a negligent discharge, is only a minor issue, if its an issue at all.

My take? Modify away on functional bits such as triggers and non-functional aesthetic options such as colors. However, stay away from items that could be construed to show intent such as a “Smile, Wait for Flash” on the crown of a barrel, etc.

Of course, there is the additional caveat regarding the brand, style, and type of ammunition.  Your attorney’s defense team may need a firearms legal expert (like Massad Ayoob) to explain to the folks who were unable to avoid jury duty why you were carrying ‘cop-killer bullets’, or Black Talons or some other ‘evil sounding’ named ammunition.  And why the extra rounds? (magazine(s), speedloader(s))?  Were you planning to ‘fill ’em full o’lead’?

And, at least some of this depends on geography.  Is your prosecutor in gun-hating New York or California, of gun-friendly (generally) Arizona?

Also, do you want your special, custom, smith-worked-on machine to be held in a dusty evidence room until after the trial?  Some folks shoot their custom guns for fun, but carry stock guns they won’t miss if they are stored away in a gov’t evidence room (from which evidence has been known to have been played with, tampered with, and/or disappear?)

Many things to consider when you carry.  And what you carry?


Rifles In Time Square

from TFB (in part)

First of all, my thoughts and prayers go out to the survivors and family members of the police officers murdered yesterday.  The female officer who was killed had just returned from maternity leave.  She had a four-month old child.  –  Guffaw


Whenever I travel somewhere, I have a tendency to notice armed police/security. Especially when they are carrying rifles. Just one week after the Chelsea bombing in NYC, my wife and I took our 4 month old to visit NYC. It was a bit of a risk since I could not legally carry in NYC, but then CCW won’t do much against an IED like what was used last week.. Anyway I noticed an increase in police activity. A lot more police officers on patrol. When I took this picture, I saw people coming up to these officers and thanking them for their service.

However these other officers stood out like sore thumbs in Time Square. They are all wearing Ops-Core helmets and what look like plate carriers. I do like that they have modernized and are using hearing protection which also doubles as communication head sets to their radios.  The rifles are sporting what looks like Aimpoint Pros with rear MBUS. The front sight is a folding gasblock front sight and the railed handguards have Inforce WMLs.

I remember posting about civilian police being deployed on a regular basis in teams with selective-fire weaponry some time ago.  Beginning in NYC.

And I was told this is already occurring in other metropolitan areas.

I remember active discussions in my Police Science classes (in the mid-70’s) regarding civil liberties versus police presence.  And the general consensus was we, as a society, preferred NOT to have cops on every corner!  Having them in teams with rifles was not even on the radar, then!

YES, we need policing.  How we go about it is the question.

And how we preserve, protect and defend The Constitution (including The Bill of Rights, of course) is another question.

The fact that we even have to ask these questions in the wake of the BLM violence and the cop killings in California (on a domestic violence call) further makes the point.

How armed do we want the police to be versus the legally-armed citizenry?


The 22%

ccwI remember (way back in the 1970s – when I got into gun stuff as an adult) fantasizing that I lived in a State that had concealed weapon permits!  How cool would THAT have been?  Being able to be armed – discreetly!

One of the reasons I wanted to become a cop was that very reason.  It seemed sad that few States had permittage, and most of them were may issue.  Usually meaning unless you were one of the special few (or perhaps funds changed hands) you either did nor carry concealed, or did not carry concealed legally!

Now, here we are in the new century, and the tide has turned.  A significant number of States how have concealed weapon laws and some even passed Constitutional Carry – no permit needed!

Specifically, with the addition of Missouri, 11 States (22% of the 50!) no permit required!

41 States, and Guam(!)  now have some provision for shall issue permits! (Wikipedia)

Of course, we still have States like California (and New York), with their difficult to get may issue permits, and checkerboard of convoluted and restrictive gun laws.

And with the ever-present nonsense by the Statists equating gun ownership with terrorism.  (Hillary?)

BUT, things have definitely improved since the 1940’s, and in spite of warnings to the contrary regarding every CCW (carry concealed weapon) and Constitutional Carry law being passed, there has been no blood in the streets!
(It seems every time such legislation is suggested, the ANTI-RIGHTS folks trot out the same, tired meme.)

It’s been said that the American Revolution was started and maintained by just 3% of the population.  In spite of the ubiquitous onslaught of the anti rights control folks, we seem to be winning!

Hooray for the responsible, law-abiding citizens, going about their private business invoking their right to possible self-defense!

Now, if we could just reverse the rampant surveillance and searching without warrant!  I know, one Amendment at a time…


Watch Out, Roy Rogers!

 (as posted by Wirecutter)trigger

Trigger warnings…..

Hofstra University has posted a “trigger warning” sign to warn students about the potentially disturbing content that may be discussed during Monday night’s presidential debate.


According to CBS New York reporter Tony Aiello, a sign inside of the student center at Hofstra reads, “Trigger warning: The event conducted just beyond this sign may contain triggering and/or sensitive material. Sexual violence, sexual assault, and abuse are some topics mentioned within this event. If you feel triggered, please know there are resources to help you.”


Back when I was in college (covered wagons, etc.) there were those doing their duty.  Either by questioning the authority of the government to facilitate wars, or by going to fight them!  People on both sides of the issue were VERY vocal and emotional.

Yet rarely did either side feel ‘triggered’ and in need of a ‘safe space’ or ‘counseling’ based on someone’s speech alone!

Have our youth become so overly sensitive that this is thought necessary?  By the nature of societal evolution?

Or, has this been the plan all along?tin_foil_hat_area

A New Mobile App!

For that nazi/narc in you!

From Alan Korwin:

ATF Launches Anonymous Tip App
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has launched a new mobile app that enables the anonymous reporting of information regarding crimes or that could be used to help prevent the commission of crimes. With the reportit app, available through the App Store or on Google play, citizens can submit a tip and attach a photo or video. The information is forwarded to ATF in real time, but should not be used to report a crime that is currently in process. Submitters will have the option to provide personal information, but it is not required. (emphasis added).

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Is it possible this app doesn’t already know who you are if you use it? Especially considering who designed it?

Top-notch expert: Oh I’m sure it does.
Second top-notch expert: Recommend you route any tips through Hillary’s personal email server to be safe.
Third: Doesn’t everyone know the system has to identify both ends of the address to deliver the message?
Names withheld but it doesn’t matter anymore. (end)

I remember back-in-the-day, when our State police agency had a toll-free number one could use to report vehicles with out-of-State license plates (as legal residency requires in-State licensure) TRANSLATION:  Revenue

And I thought THIS was beyond the pale!

If you see something, say something! – a current administration motto

For me, it’s a matter of degree.  Narking on your neighbors because they are behaving suspiciously (whatever THAT means?), hmmm…

Narking on the guy driving the wrong direction, erratically (which I have done)? Of course!

Being the eyes and ears of the State?  Degree, my friends.

The times, they are a changin’


Running Away Doesn’t Mean You Did Something

Black men who try to avoid an encounter with Boston police by fleeing may have a legitimate reason to do so — and should not be deemed suspicious — according to a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Citing Boston police data and a 2014 report by the ACLU of Massachusetts that found blacks were disproportionately stopped by the city’s police, the state’s highest court on Tuesday threw out the gun conviction of Jimmy Warren.


(from Wirecutter)

Okay.  I get if you come from a fractured subculture wherein male leadership is largely lacking, and you are poor and a minority, and have been taught to fear ‘the man’, you might want to run if confronted.

Even if you hadn’t done anything.

BUT, the idea that fleeing the police (IF you are a Black man) your flight cannot be viewed as suspicious(!?)


Not to mention the whole racist component – What about a Black woman?  Or a Latino?  Or a White?  Or someone of mixed race?

I see a whole can of worms being opened here for additional court cases…

Once again, activist judges take the reins, in lieu of those who swore to protect and defend The Constitution.

What?  They DID swear?

I’m not surprised.  So have Presidents, Congressmen, Senators, FBI heads and Supreme Court Justices over the past 60 70 100 years.

And no one (of any power) has called them on it!



Attention All Ostriches!

ostrich1Pull your respective heads from the sand (or wherever) and listen up!

We saw three terrorist incidents yesterday (Saturday):

Also. there was some kind of LGBTQ manifesto found earlier, which may have been misdirection, coincidental or a false flag.  Regardless:


and THIS, regarding one of the suspects:

(name excised), whom police nabbed and shot after a day-long dragnet in connection with a series of terror attacks in and around New York was a bad father who disliked America, hated gays and took long trips to his homeland of Afghanistan, the mother of his young daughter exclusively tells

More on this story:

Whether or not the attackers have some twisted view of the religion of Allah, or Christ, the Easter Bunny, LGBTQ or LSMFT is of no consequence!  Is it ‘workplace violence’?  Who cares?
War is no longer defined by geographic boundaries.  Nor are the participants.  Nor does the enemy seem to have signed the Geneva Convention rules.
EVERYONE is considered a combatant (or potential target) by the enemy.  TERRORISTS (foreign and domestic) seem only interested in causing as much death and mayhem as possible.  POLITICIANS are only interested in using these attacks to feather their own nest and denying the citizenry their natural rights.
“We’re at war, America’s at the mall.” (from a LTC in Baghdad in 2006)
Now they’ve brought the fight to the mall…
What to do?
We must take the fight to them!
How do we do that?
First, go about our daily lives.  If we hide cowering, they win!
And if you pray, please do so.

Don’t Be There! (NSFW)

from Bayou Renaissance Man

Damned if they do, damned if they don’t

Yesterday I wrote about the impossible conundrum facing police.  They’re literally in a no-win situation.  If they enforce and uphold the laws, they’re accused of racism, abuse of authority, and everything else one can imagine.  If they don’t, the law-abiding citizens they’re sworn to protect and serve will pay the price in the anything-goes free-for-all that will result.

A graphic example of how this plays out every day on the streets of some of our rougher neighborhoods was given in Chicago a few days ago.  The video below is profane, graphic and very disturbing.  I can only commend the police involved for not giving in to what must, at times, have been the overwhelming temptation to deal with the interlopers as their conduct deserved.

LANGUAGE ALERT:  Profanity is frequent and very graphic.  If you’d like to read what happened, and watch the video with the sound turned off, you’ll find the details here.

Now ask yourself, dear readers:  if you find yourself on the streets of a city or suburb like that (say, after a traffic accident, while you’re waiting for emergency services to arrive), and you get heckled like that . . . what are you going to do about it?  You probably won’t have sufficient legal justification to open fire on the mob.  If you produce a gun and try to threaten them, their reactions will be just as they are above.  They’ll dare you to use it, knowing that if you do, the law will basically side with them, no matter how provocative and threatening their conduct might have been.  What’s more, some of them will probably have guns too.  If you use yours, they’ll likely shoot back – and your family and anyone else with you will be in the line of fire.  You might be well advised to leave the area as quickly as possible, by any means necessary (including hitching a ride with passing motorists), and abandon your vehicle.  If it gets stripped or stolen, that’s still a lot less trouble than what might happen if you stay with it.

John Farnam’s advice (which we’ve repeated on several occasions in these pages) still holds good.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

The best way to handle any potentially injurious encounter is: Don’t be there. Arrange to be somewhere else. Don’t go to stupid places. Don’t associate with stupid people. Don’t do stupid things. This is the advice I give to all students of defensive firearms. Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the “penalty” for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable.

Crowds of any kind, particularly those with an agenda, such as political rallies, demonstrations, picket lines, etc are good examples of “stupid places.” Any crowd with a high collective energy level harbors potential catastrophe. To a lesser degree, bank buildings, hospital emergency rooms, airports, government buildings, and bars (particularly crowded ones) fall into the same category. All should be avoided. When they can’t be avoided, we should make it a practice to spend only the minimum time necessary there and then quickly get out.

“A superior gunman is best defined as one who uses his superior judgment in order to keep himself out of situations that would require the use of his superior skills.”

Words to live by more than ever, in these troubled times.  Kudos to those cops for keeping their cool under very trying circumstances.  I doubt I’d have done as well.


Obviously, it’s a matter of degree and circumstance.  A couple of kids talking smack to sound tough, or a violent street gang just looking for an excuse – any excuse.  Sometimes, as proposed in the essay, we find ourselves in a bad geographical area.  Wrong turn off the freeway, followed by car trouble…
Massad Ayoob famously stated if you feel the need to carry into a bar, perhaps you need to consider a different watering hole.  Perhaps.  Watering hole choice is usually voluntary.  (I see this as ‘not using the seat belt; not getting into an accident’ thinking.  Just because it’s not a dive bar doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen. – Guffaw)
This all goes back to basics – situational awareness and mindset.  We don’t always have control, and may have to wait for others to act for us to respond – morally and legally.
And THAT’S the hell of it…

Barbarians At The Gate

are nothing new!

(courtesy of Bobbi, in part, from her musings on 9/11…)

     Barbarians of one stripe or another had been after blowing up highly-visible stuff in the States for a good long while — a Federal building in Oklahoma City, a van-bomb at the World Trade center, and so on back to the 1886 Haymarket bombing in Chicago.  There’s no shortage of fools who think blowing up innocent people is a suitable method to effect change.

It’s not.  It’s been shown to produce nothing but death, injury and anger.  And we’ve now got the TSA bringing miniature, audience-participation versions of the Stanford Prison Experiment to every passenger airport in the country.

Here’s what I can tell you: when violent people initiate force against the innocent, more people step up to stop them (Flight 93), to help the victims (police and firefighters at the World Trade Center and Pentagon), and they do not count the personal cost; they step up.  Civilization is stronger than barbarism.  It is not destroyed from the outside.

So remember the heroes, probably none of whom felt especially heroic in the moment.  Remember the people who do what needs doing.  And don’t kid yourself that it won’t happen again.

Considering we remain at ‘war’ (in one degree or another) against these forces (both foreign and domestic) after 15 years, it’s good to hear that while said barbarians keep testing (and sometimes breaching) the fences, there are folks out there who continue to step up to do the task at hand.  Thank you, Roberta, for reminding us.

Three quotes come to mind:

While it may be apocryphal, Winston Churchill is often quoted as having said (supposedly paraphrasing Orwell) “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  (John 15:13)

“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.”  –  General George S. Patton



I’m A Libertarian (Small L), But…

from Wirecutter:

The Heroin Task Force formed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine has endorsed the creation of safe-consumption sites for addicts, which would be a first in the U.S.

A majority of the task-force members support a place or places for addicts to use heroin and other drugs besides public restrooms, alleys or homeless encampments such as The Jungle, said Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, task force co-chair. The idea is that users could visit a supervised facility where they could get clean needles and anti-overdose medications as well as medical attention as needed and treatment opportunities.


Amsterdam tried this 3 decades ago and it was a disaster. Petty crime exploded and overdoses became epidemic. It didn’t work – given the choice between drugs and treatment, dope fiends will take the drugs every time.

My understanding of Amsterdam was not only petty crime skyrocketed, but organized crime did, as well.

My concerns are always about governmental costs (the current situation vis-a-vis the ‘program’, above), WHO pays for it, and WHO benefits? (cui bono).

As well as the ongoing ‘I’m a libertarian and have a right to put in my body whatever’ thing.

I have an addictive personality.  Thank God it’s not involving drugs or alcohol.  But, my personal health and families/friends have paid a price for my dysfunctional behaviors.

Obviously, locking up everyone in possession of a single rolling paper isn’t working.  (The U.S. having the largest prison population per capita – mostly for drug offenses)  I suspect the government plan above to fail.  Colorado has legality, and reportedly crime and DUIs have dropped.  Medical mj is expensive (both the card and the product), at least here in AZ.

Promoting personal character?  Sure.  Why not.

But, I don’t see an easy, simplistic solution…

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…